On Monday, electric customers received letters from Oncor telling them they're asking the Texas Public Utility Commission for the power to extract money from people for not installing Smart Meters.
It was Oncor's response to PUC's decision last December to develop a set of opt-out rules
for people who wanted to keep their analog units.
The decision followed long-running battles between grassroots protestors and giant corporate power providers like Oncor in North Texas over installation of Smart Meters.
Dallas Libertarian Examiner has been reporting on this "power struggle" since 2010 through the eyes of "Mr. Smoot," an acronym for "Smart Meter Opt Out Texan," a Ft. Worth resident wishing to remain anonymous.
Here's a portion of the letter that Smoot sent via certified mail to the PUC:
"I just received my first official notice today (October 22, 2013) that Oncor filed with the PUC on September 30 that they want official state permission to rip off their customers who still have "non-standard" (meaning "standard analog") meters by looting them
with a "one-time up-front fee" of up to $489.20 and an ongoing monthly charge maxing out at $28.45.
"And if the customer caves in and asks for the installation of the same Smart Meter that everyone else had installed at no cost they'll be robbed of a maximum of $769.20.
"This isn't an Opt Out plan; this is a severe punishment for not knuckling under and kissing Oncor's work boots from their first demand to impose their digital devices on everyone.
"It is outrageous for Oncor to charge me a fee for simply keeping a meter I already have and which therefore costs Oncor absolutely nothing.
"Charging me an extra monthly fee for sending a person to my home to read the meter is equally outrageous since Oncor has always done this as part of its service without charging an extra fee.
"Other places in the United States such as Vermont; Kaui, Hawaii; Ashland, Oregon among others, have FREE opt out programs while others have VERY low charges. Why is Oncor trying to gouge us?
"I am retired and living on a fixed income. This treatment is truly a grotesque outrage!
"I urge the Public Utilities Commission of Texas to disapprove all of these utterly unnecessary money-grabs and to do what the Commission is supposed to do: Protect the public!"